News: ‘Regular’ soldiers open fire on gunnery range
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – More than 20 cavalry scouts tested their skills during a platoon live-fire maneuver exercise at the Digital Multipurpose Range Complex on Fort Carson Range 143, April 16.
Scouts assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, “Regulars,” 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted the exercise to demonstrate their ability to engage and destroy targets in defensive and offensive positions, conduct tactical maneuvers and navigate terrain.
“This training is teaching soldiers the fundamental defense and offense of [an armor] brigade combat team,” said Lt. Col. Steve Adams, commander, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt. “Through this training, we will certify all crews and platoons in their core mission set.”
Before beginning the exercise, the Regulars soldiers conducted preventive maintenance checks and services on each M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1A2 Abrams tank to ensure mission readiness.
After they completed their checks, scouts drove their vehicles to Range 143 to perform a dry-fire of their weapons systems.
Dry firing is the practice of firing a weapon without ammunition to simulate actual firing and refine trigger control.
“We wanted to get soldiers familiar with firing and maneuvering their vehicles,” Adams said. “We have some soldiers who haven’t operated these newer vehicles before, so this was a new learning experience for them.”
Upon completion of their dry-fire, scouts loaded ammunition into their weapons in preparation of the live-fire portion of their training.
Cavalry troopers observed and reported enemy activity, called for fire and engaged their targets.
“The tasks we performed during this training were fundamental scout skills and tactics,” said Spc. Matthew Delaney, a cavalry scout assigned to HHC. “This training gave us a better understanding about how to accurately report enemy activity, utilize our weapons systems and engage in force-on-force training.”
During their live fire, Delaney said the scouts learned how to move as a cohesive unit in a tactical situation.
“We learned about who is tasked with what, so we can divide our efforts and more effectively eliminate threats,” said Delaney, a native of Madison, Wisc.
At the end of the day, Adams reflected on the improvement he saw in his soldiers’ performance.
“The soldiers started off with very little resident experience on the Bradleys and tanks,” Adams said. “But they made tremendous improvements in such a short time, it’s like they became a different unit.”
After platoon maneuver training, the scouts will coordinate with company and larger sized units during 1st BCT’s “Raider Strike,” a comprehensive evaluation of the brigade’s decisive action training plan, scheduled for May.